updated 07:45 am EST, Fri November 7, 2008
MS Targets Win 7 for 2009
Microsoft late Thursday admitted that it was ultimately targeting the public release of Windows 7 for 2009, confirming suspicions of an early release. In a presentation for its Vista Velocity program, which speeds up and improves the user experience of upcoming PCs, the company largely confirmed that its attention for Velocity would be on Windows 7 for later in 2009. The focus is "definitely" on having 7 ready for holiday 2009, according to Microsoft director Doug Howe.
The news is a change in stance for Microsoft. Publicly, the company has avoided committing to a narrow timeframe for the launch of Windows 7 and has at most alluded to aiming a release at early 2010, or the three-year anniversary of Vista's release. However, the company has increasingly given hints that its next major Windows release is on a fast-track schedule and may have effectively confirmed this at its Professional Developers Conference late last month, when it showed that it would have just one major beta release followed by feedback and a public beta.
It's widely believed that a late-2009 release is prompted both by the technical nature of Windows 7 development and Microsoft's own concerns for its experience with Vista. As 7 already contains the major architectural changes that were brought about with Vista, the company is better able to finish planned features or to discard those that would be unlikely to make an early release target. Such an early release has been increasingly deemed important as Microsoft has suffered both from a negative perception of Vista, prompting its $300 million ad campaign, as well as a large number of businesses refusing to adopt Vista due to compatibility and performance problems.
Some of the core changes in Windows 7 are centered around speed and memory use, both of which should improve enough to allow netbooks to run Windows 7 instead of forcing either Windows XP or Linux.